Health Minister disputes claims 10,000 children a year are hospitalised for dental extractions
Health Minister Varadkar has disputed the Irish Dental Association's claims that up to 10,000 children a year are being hospitalised for dental extractions because they are not being treated early enough.
The association described the number as a 'national disgrace'.
It added that it is 'an indictment of the slash-and-burn policy of the previous and current government to oral health policy'.
However, Health Minister Leo Vardakar disputed the claims this morning and said the actual figure is 'less than half of that reported'.
Speaking to RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, Minister Varadkar said he has asked the Chief Dental Officer to investigate the claims.
"I was able to get some information on this early this morning and I was informed the figures are incorrect," the minister said.
"The correct figure is 3,6000, not 10,000 as was mentioned.
"I have asked the Chief Dental Officer to look into these claims, their claims are incorrect.
"Child oral health is improving in Ireland and is good by international standards.
"It appeared on the front pages this morning and I've asked the Chief Dental Officer to investigate it for me.
In this morning's report, IDA president Ann Twomey said thousands of children with chronic dental infection are waiting up to 12 months for treatment.